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National Association of Letter Carriers Auxiliary (Bowling Green, Ohio) - MS 740

Introduction | Agency History | Scope and Contents | Series Description | Inventory

 Introduction

The National Association of Letter Carriers Auxiliary (NALCA) collection was donated to the Center for Archival Collections by Bernice Butler on August 8, 1997. Supplemental documents were donated by Paul Garno. The collection consists primarily of chapter meeting minutes, membership rosters, correspondence, and financial documents.

No restrictions exist on the use of this collection. It measures a total of 0.9 linear feet. The finding aid was started by Gary Washington, student, in May 2009. It was continued by Jessica Schmidt, archival assistant, and completed by Rex Childers, graduate student assistant, in March 2010.

 Agency History

The NALCA was established in 1905 by the spouses and family members of those belonging to the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) union. The forming of this organization shares a close tie to the northwest Ohio area, as one of the first officers of the NALCA, vice-president, Dora M. Carl, was from Toledo. The original duties of NALCA members were:

  • First, to bring together in a social way the wives, daughters, mothers and sisters of carriers.
  • Second, to aid wherever possible the carriers, both socially and financially.
  • Third, to minister to the sick and in case of death, lend a helping hand to the bereaved.
  • Fourth, in the future to be able to carry insurance in the Mutual Benefit Association at a reasonable rate.

Over the course of its existence, the NALCA would be involved in more than just charity and financial aid to its members. The NALCA would conduct an intense campaign of private letters to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, which resulted in the NALCA leadership’s successful meeting with President Franklin D. Roosevelt to discuss working conditions for letter carriers. Their meetings and continued political activity, combined with the NALC itself, eventually led to workplace reforms that are now common for U.S. Postal Service letter carriers today, including Sundays off, sick leave, shorter work days, compensation for injuries occurring on the job, salary increases, and support for widows and survivors.

It is unclear when the Bowling Green chapter (no. 1316) was established; however, by-laws specifically for the local NALCA organization were created in the 1940s and 1950s. The NALCA still exists today and continues to follow the guidelines for its creation. In addition to its original objectives, NALCA also promotes community involvement through various public events, legislative activity, and also is a major contributor to the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

 Scope and Content

The collection of the NALCA Bowling Green chapter consists of meeting minutes, conference minutes, chapter roster, membership applications, constitution and by-laws, correspondence, officer’s guide, annual and semi-annual reports, literary works, financial documents, various printed materials, and artifacts. The most comprehensive documents include the chapter and conference meeting minutes. Additionally, the constitution and by-laws and annual/semi-annual reports will also offer researchers significant information about the organization and its operating procedures.

The chapter and convention meeting minutes are relatively comprehensive. Chapter meeting minutes are present from 1948-1977. The chapter minutes provide information on the daily activities of the group and how it operated, including a listing of members and guests present at the meetings, where and when they were held, and what was discussed. There are only two sets of biennial convention minutes included in the collection, one from the 45th Ohio NALCA Biennial Convention in 1971, held in Toledo, and another from the 46th Ohio NALCA Biennial Convention in1973, in Cincinnati. The minutes include exact outlines of procedures and events held at the convention, as well as any changes discussed with the Ohio NALCA constitution and/or state by-laws.

The Bowling Green chapter roster and membership applications offer a complete listing from 1956-1978 of the members of the NALCA. In addition to names, the roster includes positions held, addresses, and attendance records at various meetings and functions. The membership applications span only a few intermittent years from 1953-1969. They include names, addresses, relationship to a member of the NALC, and by whom they were recommended for initiation. Several blank application cards are also present in the collection.

Another main component of this collection is the constitution and state and local by-laws. The constitution was amended in 1974, along with the national ritual guidelines. Three state sets of by-laws and four local by-law amendments also exist in the collection. These documents explain the daily rituals and procedures members of NALCA needed to follow under the national charter.

Various years of correspondence are available. However, most of the letters relate to new or amended by-laws within the state and local chapters. The collection also includes annual and semi-annual reports of the local Bowling Green chapter. This brochure-like report contains information such as active members, officers, and also dues that have been paid. These reports would have been sent to the NALCA state organization for statistical data.

The financial documents include ledgers indicating dues and other fees paid by each member during the course of 1951-1982. This offers a clear picture of what kind of financial standing the chapter was in. Additionally, several receipts from numerous social events are also included. These receipts for events, such as the national NALC Camp Out and Christmas social, describe the types of expenses needed for each. For example, the Camp Out event included purchases of corn and eggs. Finally, the chapter’s tax exemption forms are also included in the collection.

A few printed materials are incorporated in the collection. These materials include a small NALCA Christmas magazine, an order book and form for various chapter necessities, and the 1976 copy of the NALCA Digest newsletter. Finally, two artifacts are available: a small American flag and an officer’s gavel. One can assume that these items were used during rituals and/or chapter meetings.

 Series Description

PROCEEDINGS

CHAPTER MEETING MINUTES.
1948-1977
Arranged chronologically.
Three small bound books describe chapter meetings at detail. Members who were present, issues discussed, etc. are included.

BIENNIAL CONVENTION MINUTES.
1971, 1973
Two sets of state wide biennial conventions held in Toledo and Cincinnati.

CHAPTER ROSTER.
1956-1978
Small notebook indicating active member and officer lists and attendance to various meetings and events.

MEMBERSHIP APPLICATIONS.
1953-1969
Collection of filled out application cards. Also includes several blank application slips.

NALCA CONSTITUTION AND RITUAL HANDBOOK.
1974
Small yellow book of updated constitution and ritual handbook. Accompanied by the 34th Biennial Convention program (event which approved updated documents).

NALCA OHIO STATE BY-LAWS.
1971, 1973, 1975
Two lists of by-laws pertinent to the Ohio State branch of NALCA.

BOWLING GREEN NALCA CHAPTER BY-LAWS.
1954
By-laws relevant to the Bowling Green chapter of NALCA. Signed by executive committee members of the branch and national organization.

BOWLING GREEN NALCA CHAPTER BY-LAW AMENDMENTS.
1956, 1957, 1975
By-laws relevant to the Bowling Green chapter of NALCA. Signed by executive committee members of the organization.

CORRESPONDENCE

NALCA CORRESPONDENCE.
Various 1954-1978
Arranged chronologically
Various dates of correspondence between other chapter officials and members of the local Bowling Green chapter.

INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE APPROVAL LETTER FOR NALCA EXEMPTION
1966
Official letter from national office of the NALCA advising member chapters of the new requirements and exemption status for organization.

REPORTS

LOCAL CHAPTER NALCA ANNUAL REPORTS.
1973-1979
Arranged chronologically
Brochure like pamphlets which identify the status of the local Bowling Green chapter each year. Items covered include list of officials, active members, and new initiates.

NALCA SEMI ANNUAL REPORTS.
1971-1978
Arranged chronologically
Includes same information as annual reports (membership and officials); also includes annual financial information.

FINANCIAL DOCUMENTS

NALCA LEDGER BOOKS.
1951-1982
Arranged chronologically
Contains financial information relating to local Bowling Green chapter. Includes membership dues and other chapter expenses for meetings and various social events.

NALCA FINANCIAL RECEIPTS.
1972-1974, 1979
Arranged chronologically
Receipts for chapter monies used for annual family social gatherings.

NALCA TAX EXEMPT FORMS.
Various 1968-1975
Arranged chronologically
IRS 990 forms identifying Bowling Green’s NALCA chapter as tax exempt.

LITERARY PRODUCTIONS

AUXILIARY OFFICER’S GUIDE.
ca. 1965
Explains the responsibilities and procedures to be followed by officers of NALCA. Also includes guidelines for planning and leading organization meetings and events.

HOW TO RUN AN AUXILIARY MEETING.
[19--?]
Describes how chapter officials should conduct organizational meetings.

PRINTED MATERIAL

NALC AUXILIARY CHRISTMAS MAGAZINE.
1968
Small booklet with various stories and songs related to Christmas. Booklet includes a general holiday greeting to all members of NALCA and NALC.

NALCA PRICE LIST AND ORDER BOOK.
1975, 1976
Arranged chronologically
Order forms for chapter essentials such as membership cards, stationary, envelopes, membership pins, emblem earrings, etc.

NALCA DIGEST.
1976
Copy of a national NALCA newsletter.

ARTIFACTS

AMERICAN FLAG AND GAVEL.
Undated
Small American flag and wooden gavel, probably used during NALCA chapter meetings.

 Inventory

Box 1

Folders
  1. Chapter Meeting Minutes, September 17, 1948 - February 1, 1951
  2. Chapter Meeting Minutes, March 1, 1951 - March 21, 1959
  3. Chapter Meeting Minutes, April 18, 1959 - December 31, 1977
  4. 45th and 46th Biennial Convention Minutes, 1971, 1973
  5. Local Chapter NALCA Roster, 1956 - 1978
  6. NALCA Membership Applications, completed and blank, 1953 - 1969
  7. NALCA Constitution and Ritual Handbook, August 11-16, 1974
  8. Ohio State Auxiliary By-Laws, 1971, 1973, 1975
  9. Bowling Green Chapter By-Laws, August 10, 1954
  10. Bowling Green Chapter By-Law, Amendments 1956, 1957, 1975
  11. NALCA Correspondence, Various, 1954-1978
  12. Internal Revenue Service approval letter for NALCA Exemption, April 25, 1966
  13. Local Chapter NALCA Annual Reports, 1973-1979
  14. Local Chapter NALCA Semi-Annual Reports, 1971-1978
  15. Auxiliary Officer’s Guide, [ca. 1965]
  16. "How to Run an Auxiliary Meeting", [19--?]
  17. NALCA Ledger Books, 1951 - 1982
  18. NALCA Financial Receipts, 1972-1974, 1976, 1979
  19. NALCA Tax Exempt Forms, Various 1968 - 1975

Box 2

Folders
  1. NALC Auxiliary Christmas Magazine, December 1968
  2. NALCA Price List and Order Blank, 1975, 1976
  3. NALCA Digest, Volume IV, Issue 6 January 1976
  4. American Flag and Gavel

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